Practice Chain Saw Safety During Clean Up After Hurricane Matthew

RALEIGH

As North Carolina cleans up after Hurricane Matthew, residents should take precautions to ensure their safety as fallen limbs and trees are being cleared away from roads, houses and yards.

Before starting a chain saw, check controls, chain tension and all bolts and handles to ensure that they are functioning properly and that they are adjusted according to the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, make sure that the chain is always sharp and the lubrication reservoir is full.

As you start the saw, make sure it is on the ground or on another firm support. Drop starting is never safe. Keep the chain’s brake engaged and at least 10 feet from the fueling area.

To fuel a chainsaw, only use approved fuel containers and dispense the fuel at least 10 feet away from any sources of ignition. No smoking during fueling. When pouring fuel into the saw, use a funnel or a flexible hose. Never attempt to fuel a running or HOT saw.

Before you start, clear away dirt, debris, small tree limbs and rocks from the saw’s chain path. Look for nails, spikes or other metal in the tree before cutting.

Be sure to shut off the saw or engage its chain brake when carrying the saw on rough or uneven terrain. Keep your hands on the saw’s handles and maintain secure footing while operating the saw. Wear proper personal protective equipment when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection.

Beware of wearing loose-fitting clothing and be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw. Watch for branches under tension, as they may spring out when cut.

If you are using a gasoline-powered chain saw, it must be equipped with a protective device that minimizes chain saw kickback. To avoid kick-back, do not saw with the tip. If equipped with a tip guard, keep it in place.

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